South Africa: Encore Unlikely As Mother City Orchestra Fails to Pay Its Musicians

analysis

The establishment of the Mother City Orchestra in December 2020 signalled hope of regeneration for classical music in South Africa, following the heavy toll inflicted by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. But six months after the orchestra was launched, its orchestral players have been left high and dry.

Some musicians who were part of the short-lived Mother City Orchestra (MCO) are seeking legal advice after not receiving payment for the six shows they performed in April.

Chris Lodewyk, one MCO's directors, sent the 31-piece orchestra a letter at the end of April, informing them that he couldn't pay them.

The orchestra's first series is titled Johann Strauss Gala. (Screengrab)

In the signed letter, Lodewyk writes: "When I made the decision to establish the orchestra, I realised that quite substantial amounts of money would be needed to fund the orchestra. To this end, I applied to have an investment of R4.2-million released from Allan Gray, the managers of the investment. I was, however, informed that because of the early release of the funds, there would be penalties of up to 10% payable. Further to this, I would have to wait 120 days for the funds to be released by them [because] according to...

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